Cash is great - passems, tentrids, half-daros, daros, or copper pieces, silver pieces, electrum pieces, gold pieces, or shells, carved bone pieces, inscribed pieces of wood. What would a dragon's hoard be without the piles and piles of coins?
But it gets heavy, bulky and risky. Coins are essential to the day to day life of people buying and selling, but in larger amounts they need to be stored or transported, can be counterfeited or clipped, and are easily stolen.
The Certified Letter of Credit
This is why the merchants of Darokin have come up with the Certified Letter of Credit (or CLOC for short). "If I know I have the money and you know I have the money, why not just issue a document which you can cash in at your convenience?" goes the reasoning. That way the merchants don't have to cart around huge amounts of cash, and the recipient is assured of the value.
The CLOC is a document promising to pay the current owner a certain amount on presentation of the document, and is signed and sealed by both payer and payee. But often it gets treated almost as currency - the current owner can transfer it to a new owner if both parties sign and seal the transfer, so CLOCs can circulate for months or years building up a string of transfers on them until the there is no space for further transfers and they have to be cashed in or reissued.
Of course, it has to be backed by something. If the recipient can't be sure they will get paid, it's not worth the parchment it is written on. And so the government has decreed that only accredited institutions can issue CLOCs. These institutions include the major merchant houses and guilds, of course, but also established banks and, more recently, credit houses. To receive accreditation, the institution must be able to demonstrate to the government that they have sufficient resources to back the credit they issue, and they must be audited every year.
CLOCs are easy to obtain for the very wealthy, but even the normal populace can access a CLOC from some of the more public or commercial issuers on payment of the value of the CLOC plus an additional feel this fee varies from issuer to issuer but is generally on the order of 5% of the value of the CLOC.
Major CLOC issuers in Akorros include the The Toney House
, Umbarth, Pennydown, Mauntea, Corun and Franich Houses, and these houses will also sell CLOCs to non-members. Al-Azrad, Hallonica and Linton houses also issue CLOCs, but given their reduced presence in Akorros these are mainly for their own house members’ use.
The guilds of Akorros also issue CLOCs for their members, and guild fees tend to be lower for their members – more typically 1-3% depending on seniority within the guild. The Merchants’ Guild is happy to issue CLOCs to anyone with a flat fee of 5%, although this becomes negotiable for CLOCs for amounts over 10,000 daros. Merchants’ Guild members, of course, have access to a much better rate.
Notable money lenders include the banks, such as Graggs Vaults
; Menster’s Money Minding
; and Giardino's - the Happy Bank
; also the Church of Khoronus. Newer Credit Houses include Honest Toni's Money Lending
, Wyvern Enterprises
, and Panache Portfolios
; these are all happy to issue credit notes for anyone on payment of the appropriate fee, and will also issue credit notes for future repayment at “a nominal APR”.